The Community YMCA is celebrating Healthy Kids Day on Saturday, Apr. 28 with a free community event for kids and families at the Family Health & Wellness Center in Red Bank and at five locations across Monmouth County. More than 20 local nonprofits, businesses and health-related organizations are partnering with the Y to help kick start physical activity and learning throughout the summer – a critical out-of-school time for kids.
Healthy Kids Day, a national initiative of the Y to improve the health and well-being of children, will include a host of physical and educational activities designed to inspire kids and families to stay physically and intellectually active all summer long. Research shows that kids are more prone to gain weight and fall behind academically during the summer months if they are not engaged in activities that stimulate the mind and body.
“As an organization that nurtures the development of over 10,000 children throughout Monmouth County, we know that when the school year ends, many kids lose access to activities that keep them moving and learning,” said Rich Ayres, interim president and CEO. “Our focus at Healthy Kids Day is to encourage kids to stay active from head to toe this summer.”
Healthy Kids Day will feature activities such as engaging games, music, dance, storytime, arts projects, gardening, a family walk, safety talks, wellness activities, a guest appearance by Hopscotch from K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital Pawsitive Action Team at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, and information about summer camps and activities. Healthy snacks will be provided and there will be drawings for prizes and summer camp.
Leading up to the event, the Y is inviting local elementary schools to participate in the Healthy Kids Day Step Challenge to encourage children to increase physical activity by walking. Participating schools will have teams of 10 track their steps the week of Apr. 23 with pedometers provided by the Y.
The top three school teams that log the most steps will be awarded prizes to support physical activity and nutrition programs at their schools. Lonnie Allgood, a former NFL player from Red Bank, now CEO of Dreams for Kids, and New Jersey State Senator Jennifer Beck, will announce the winning teams at the Healthy Kids Day event at the Y’s Red Bank location.
Schedule of events:
9-11 a.m. – Hillside Community Center, 144 Chestnut Ave., Middletown
Nature activity by Poricy Park, teddy bear clinic by VNA, storytime and art project, hip hop dance and hula hoop activity
9 a.m.- 12 p.m. – Camp Zehnder, 3911 Herbertsville Rd., Wall
Trail biking on camp trail, bike and helmet safety, chair massage and camp tours.
11 a.m.- 1 p.m. – Hazlet Children’s Achievement Center, 745 Poole Ave.
Gardening activity by Home Depot, VNA teddy bear clinic, healthy smiles activity by Holmdel Pediatric Dental, storytime and art project, hip hop dance, fire truck and safety by Hazlet fire and police.
12-3 p.m.- Camp Arrowhead, 521 Route 520, Marlboro
Fitness with Hopscotch from K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital Pawsitive Action Team at 12 p.m., one-mile family walk at 2:15 p.m., nature crafts, camp tours and more.
1-3 p.m. – Matawan Children’s Achievement Center, 201 Broad St.
Fitness with Hopscotch at 2 p.m., summer nutrition activity by UMDNJ, storytime and art project, gardening by Home Depot, VNA teddy bear clinic, healthy smiles activity by Holmdel Pediatric Dental, fire truck and safety by Matawan fire and police.
3-5 p.m. – Family Health & Wellness Center, 166 Maple Ave., Red Bank
Hip hop dance at 3:15 p.m., fitness with Hopscotch at 3:30 p.m., Take On Summer talk by Lonnie Allgood of Dreams for Kids at 4 p.m., Step Challenge presentation at 4:15 p.m., summer nutrition activity by UMDNJ, summer reading by Red Bank Public Library, nutrition by Monmouth County Regional Health Commission, art project and drumming demonstration. Additionally, the new Youth & Teen Center will be open until 5 p.m. for Wii-Fit and use of cardio and strength training equipment.
For more information and to register, visit TheCommunityYMCA.org/HealthyKidsDay